When it comes to low budget headphones, no company does it quite like Skullcandy. The manufacturer is notorious for its incredibly chic designs and endlessly creative array of products. Their latest addition to the realm of earbuds is the Smokin’ Buds 2 line, an exceptionally priced and performance-decent set of headphones that will rock your wallet every bit as much as they do your ears.
We aren’t saying these are the greatest buds ever made (In fact, we aren’t saying that at all!) but if you’re looking for a cheap set to get you through the week, we’ve got our full thoughts on the matter contained below.
Design and Comfort Rating
When it comes to design, no company is better known than Skullcandy, though potentially Monster stands a chance with its incredibly diverse Beats by Dre lineup. Either way, the company never disappoints us when it comes to crazy designs, rich colors, and an endless amount of personality.
The Smokin’ Buds 2 are no different, coming in a dizzying array of colors, designs, and patterns. Our favorite was the Rastafarian-colored offering, though that’s probably just our Caribbean roots talking. The cord that comes with the buds is quite thick too, offering a cloth exterior that we feel will easily stand up to hard abuse during an excessive number of commutes.
However, we can’t say the buds themselves are quite as comfortable. We had a heck of a time obtaining any kind of seal with the tree included tips, and at the end of the day, we were forced to compromise sound quality with a more comfortable fit. But enough about the looks—how do these band boys sound?
Sound Performance and Quality Rating
As with most Skullcandy headphones we’ve taken a look at, the Smokin’ Bud 2 was quite heavy on the bass, but not much else. No matter what genre we pumped through the buds, we had essentially the same results. The high-end is tinny and often jagged, while the mids are lackluster and less-than satisfactory.
As stated, though, the bass holds up well on its own, and though that’s not enough to make the Smokin’ Buds a recommended product, it’s certainly a mark in the headphone’s favor. Sadly, it’s about the only mark we can throw at an otherwise unremarkable performance by Skullcandy.
Overall Value Rating
Granted, the Smokin’ Buds will set you back only about $20, which is an incredible bargain for a good set of headphones. Though we wouldn’t quite call the Smokin’ Bud a good set. These buds won’t hurt your wallet to test-drive, but if you ask us, your ears might be better pleased with a slightly more expensive, though potentially much plainer, model of high-end cans.